Neurobusy is a commonly overlooked state that can accompany chronic overwhelm. Do you have neurobusy tendencies? Learn more below.
Neurobusy is a commonly overlooked state that makes it hard to focus, get things done, and manage emotions. This is how neurobusy women often describe it, "Even if the world around me slows down, my mind keeps running a mile a minute."
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Snapshot: What Neurobusy is
Neurobusy is a common condition whose root causes include overwhelm, anxiety, neurodiversity, and trauma. Neurobusy people feel a deep need to always be moving or productive — making true rest or peace impossible.
Neurobusy people struggle with focus and a key group of skills known as executive functions. Society’s long list of gender role expectations for women — managing self, family, and the home, often while working — requires intense focus and consistent coordination of executive functions.
Strong women are often determined to meet these demands, typically by masking symptoms and problems. Shame and self-blame fuel the dynamic interplay between societal expectations and neurobusy’s executive dysfunction. These challenges lead to overwhelm and make it hard to stay emotionally regulated. Neurobusy women experience chronic overwhelm.
Many women believe their neurobusy struggles are a symptom of simply being overscheduled. For most, though, being neurobusy doesn't just disappear with circumstantial changes. The symptoms of a neurobusy mind intertwine societal expectations, internal soundtracks, biology, and genetics.
Research shows that neurobusy struggles tend to surface most in women during life transitions and hormonal shifts — during puberty, when starting college, with pregnancy, during different stressful stages of motherhood, with menopause, or during retirement.
No matter when people discover they are neurobusy, there are tools that can make symptoms more manageable and support that can make things easier at home, at work, and within relationships.
Neurobusy Signs And Symptoms
The main symptoms of a neurobusy brain are trouble with focus and the need to constantly "be doing." People can have these symptoms to varying degrees; not everyone struggles with both. Symptoms can also change and shift with age.
Neurobusy people have trouble with executive functions. Because of this, they often struggle with:
- Racing thoughts
- Difficulty concentrating
- Restlessness or an inability to relax
- Poorly estimating or managing time
- Getting and staying organized
- Setting priorities (e.g., everything feels important)
- Not following through on tasks (e.g., losing interest, getting side-tracked)
- Difficulties falling or staying asleep
- Fatigue or feeling constantly tired
- Chronic overwhelm
Neurobusy on an average day
Sometimes, "textbook" signs of neurobusy feel too general or vague. Here's what being neurobusy might look like on a day-to-day basis:
Talking so fast that it's hard for people to keep up
Accidentally interrupting people so you don't lose your thought
Regularly "spacing out" in conversations or meetings
Choosing a small circle of friends vs. managing multiple relationships
Knowing an appointment or birthday is coming all week but missing it the day of
Potentially being perceived as controlling, demanding, or easily irritated
Having a strong and loud inner critic
Overdelivering to compensate for potential mistakes
Glorifying perfectionism as a positive
Being a prolific "to-do list" writer
Constantly rushing to complete tasks at the last minute
Difficulty sitting still or mentally relaxing when there's just so much to do
Having stacks of important papers lying around
Frequently misplacing or losing things, such as your keys, phone, or glasses
Forgetting to return calls, reply to emails, or respond to texts
Signature of a neurobusy mind
There is one perplexing signature of a neurobusy mind. Neurobusy people who struggle with keeping up with day-to-day priorities are able to “hyperfocus” or "find flow" with tasks they find really interesting.
For instance, a person might find flow for hours while doing a DIY project but find their mind wandering within five minutes of sitting in a group meeting. Or a caregiver may hyperfocus on a fascinating work project to the point that they lose track of time and forget to eat lunch or even pick up the kids.
Onset of symptoms
Signs of neurobusy can pop up at any age. However, when looking back, most women show signs throughout their lives (as young as preschool).
Many intense neurobusy struggles don't surface until later, as school and life become more challenging. Some women don’t realize they're neurobusy until they’re in college, become mothers, or begin perimenopause.
There are many potential intertwined root causes behind a neurobusy brain. Beyond everyday overwhelm and chronic stress, causes may include, but are not limited to, comorbidities such as:
- Sensory processing sensitivities (HSP)
- PTSD or c-PTSD
Research shows differences in how the brain functions with certain commodities.
These differences in brain function have nothing to do with intelligence. Neurobusy people are just as smart as people who aren't — in fact, history shows they are often some of the world's most creative problem solvers.
If these symptoms resonate and you discover that you are neurobusy, it is important to know that you don’t need to be “fixed.” Tools exist to help you simplify and thrive.
You may be struggling in this moment. Being neurobusy is utterly exhausting at times.
You've taken a big step today.
For many, knowing they're not alone, recognizing neurobusy, and labeling the struggle is a significant step forward in helping them feel more in control. For some, therapy is helpful for intertwining comorbidities.
You know what is best for you.
- Neurobusy is a common condition whose root causes include overwhelm, anxiety, neurodiversity, trauma, and genetics.
- Neurobusy people struggle with focus and a key group of skills known as executive functions.
- Neurobusy people feel a deep need to always be moving or productive — making true rest or peace impossible.
- Research shows that neurobusy struggles surface most in women during life transitions and hormonal shifts.
- People can have different neurobusy symptoms to varying degrees; symptoms can also change and shift with age.
- There is one signature sign of being neurobusy. People who struggle with keeping up with day-to-day priorities can “hyperfocus” or "find flow" with tasks they find really interesting.
- Being neurobusy and living authentically — without masks or endless apologies — is a process. For some, therapy is helpful for intertwining comorbidities.
- If these symptoms resonate with you, it is important to know that you don’t need to be “fixed.” You are more than your neurobusy brain.
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